I had missed the Olympic Games opening ceremony two weeks ago. Last night, at our 1.30 time, the closing ceremony was to be telecast. I did not want to miss this time. So, just before the ceremony began, my son woke me up.
I sat with my son till 4… and relished every bit of it.
I had been watching the events selectively during these fifteen-days-long London Olympics. As an Indian, I was rooting for our contestants. Felt happy whenever a Silver or a Bronze was won… felt sad when they lost out!
But, Olympics, to me, are not about the nations, even though over 200 nations take part in it. To me, it is about celebrating the human spirit… it is about exploring new heights to scale… It is about self-belief… and, it is about admiring the best, the winner.
Why should I feel so happy when Jamaican or Kenyan sprinters set new bench-marks for the world in those events? Why should I root for Usain Bolt as if he is from my own country? I felt so inspired by Michael Phelp’s legendary feat: 22 Olympic medals in just three Olympics, including 18 Gold!
Yes, as they rightly say, he is a nation by himself!
And, Bolt who owns consecutive Gold medals in two Olympics for 100 and 200-m… and then one more for 4 x 100-m relay – yes, this fastest man on Earth – hasn’t stopped sending goose bumps over my body, still!
And, you must have heard this: Jamaican P.M. wants to name an aircraft after this legend: ‘BOLT’!
Felix Sanchez (from Dominican Republic), at 35, could win Gold in 400-m hurdles! On the presentation podium, he was sobbing like a small baby as his national anthem was being played on the background!
This athlete just left me dumbfounded!
He had own Gold in the same event at Athens in 2004. Four years on, in 2008, Beijing, in the thick of the events, he got the sad news of his grandma, Lillian’s death, which left him shattered. He was so close to her. So, it affected his performance and he came back with no medal.
Felix was almost 31 then. Still, it was this emotional turmoil that set ablaze in his heart the resolve to regain the Gold in London, four years hence… yes, when he would be 35!
And, aptly, Felix dedicated the medal to his beloved grandma! And, he gave a long, loud sigh of relief… by sobbing so inconsolably before the entire world!
There are countless inspiring moments like that to share…
But, what inspires me, need not inspire another!
So, last night, as the closing ceremony was coming to an end, there was this heart-warming song presented by irrepressible Eric Idles (Monty Python group). With the added flavour of our own Balle Balle, it made me even happier. Such a simple song, such simple lyrics… But, a powerful nation felt it befitting to send off its guests, of over two hundred nations, with this song… and, millions of people, all over the globe, to tuck it into their hearts… Oh, yes, I felt really relieved and happy to be reminded: “Hey, living can be so simple, and joy can be so uncomplicated… if we always look on the bright side of life!”
I went to bed, last night, with a very light heart…
Just after two-and-a-half hours, I was up, fresh as a daisy!
To me, Olympic Games are not about the Gold, Silver or Bronze…
They are about
the simple joy and hope
whose promise is eternally held
before all of us.
The triumph of human spirit!
The bright side of life… the light side of life!